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  CSPAN    Today in Washington    News/Business. News.  

    September 20, 2010
    10:00 - 12:00pm EDT  

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money goes to the democratic party. do you have a problem with the fact that they are taking people's views without their consent and taking it to candidates they do not support? guest: the center for american politics does not take a position on that, but i was referencing them both as equivalent concerned, that anyone should not be forced to give money to candidates they do not support. if that were leveled through our taxpayer dollars, people would be forced to find support. this is the debate both in our union pacs are funded, how corporate interests raise and spend money in elections and, of course, the debate on public financing. host: le krumholz, thanks for
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being on the "washington journal." that does a for today's journal. we will be back tomorrow with more of your phone calls. today the senate, they will kick off the defense authorization bill. tune in to c-span24 coverage [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2010] . >> center lindsey graham will talk about terrorism today -- senator will, and he is the keynote speaker. you can see it live beginning at 12:30 p.m. eastern. a little later, a discussion on the effectiveness of sanctions on iran.
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that will get under way at 3:00 p.m. eastern. we will have that live for you here on c-span. >> if consumers do not trust us, they will not keep coming back. continue >> and a month-long look at privacy in communications policy. >> the c-span video library is a great resource to see what is happening in washington. find the most recent events covered, those most watched, and most covered -- all free. >> governor tim pawlenty is widely considered to be contemplating a presidential run in 2012. he recently sat down with c-span to talk about his plans for the future. this is just under 40 minutes. >> has there been a defining moment for you as governor of
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minnesota? >> probably many, but i will give you two. one is the support we have given to the men and women in a national -- national military, and the national guard. we have stepped up in unprecedented ways to support them. we lead the nation in the beyond the yellow ribbon campaign. the other thing, for minnesota, i am in stick it has been liberal through history, and for me to draw a line on driving down government spending and will be on cutting taxes is something i'm also proud of. >> the president has said that next year in july 2011, it is a traditional date for the american military. you disagree? >> yes, but first i applaud the president for putting more troops into afghanistan, but i wish he would not have taken five months to make a decision,
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or simultaneously announced the withdrawal date, simultaneous with the announcement of the surge. once an arbitrary date is made, it puts questions in the minds of allies, from the highest levels of leadership in afghanistan and pakistan, all the way down to villagers. when you send the message that we may leave as early as next year, people began to hedge their bets in ways not helpful to the u.s. with respect to our mission there. >> but if the general said that we can do this by july 2011, then what would you say? >> you want to pay heed and give deference to some members of the military and leadership. no question. but i know this president obama and secretary clinton and others have begun to back off that date as to not adopa hard deadl.
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they're talking about perhaps a small reduction, and then see what goes on from there. even they have backed off that date as a hard date. to me that is some progress. >> can we win in of? >> yes, definitely. you see the progress in iraq since the surge. with the correct leadership and tactics, strategy, we see a good future for iraq. the same hope can be in afghanistan and we followed the direction of the surge, make sure that we complete the mission. i met with general david petraeus last weekend when i was there, and he says that he thinks he can stop the progress of the insurgency rather quickly, and then turn it back our way. but it will take time. our country and people will require strategy to get it done successfully.
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>> long term goal is to limit terrorism. if you crush them in one part of the country, it tends they will go to another country, or part of the world. >> is not a good thing to only talk about fighting terrorism and a one isolated place or moment in time. i have been to iraq five times, afghanistan three times, and i think we have a long-term war against terror. it will show up in different places at different times globally. we will have to go after it in different ways. we will have to remain vigilant. in afghanistan, you see a very troubling and challenging situation, but we need to follow it through to a successful conclusion. if threats arise elsewhere -- not a war in every country, but certain tactics and allegiances will have to be formed to confront any threat that presents a danger to the u.s. this may go on for a long time. >> you have called yourself all
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wartime governor. >> i was a governor during a time of war. it is atypical for governors in minnesota. it has required time and energy dedicated to military issues, support. i'm proud of that, but it is another issue i am a to have dealt with -- in history at other times governors have not had to. >> first of all, why are you a republican? >> i believe in a limited, effective government. i'm most concerned about making sure that people understand government has a role, but it is limited. we should not define success and progress for the state or nation as what more government can do that it is not currently. that is the incorrect definition of progress. there are other ways to encourage and incentivize good progress in the private sector,
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civic organizations, families, innovation. so much as outside of government. we need to make sure that we remind people what government has certain responsibilities, we can't continue to have breast that is irresponsible. the country has been on a path towards government growth in spending growth that is not only reckless, but corrosive in terms of understanding proper boundaries between government and the private sector. >> are there agencies or departments on the federal level you would reduce or eliminate? be specific. >> in minnesota we would use priority-based budgeting. i'm proud of my record of cutting spending. from 1960 until i became governor, minnesota had an average two-year increase of 21% over 40 years. unsustainable and irresponsible. we have cut it down to 1.7%
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average spending growth during my time as governor. in the two-year. we are in now, for the first time we have cut spending in real terms. one of the techniques we have used is priority-based budgeting. we make a list. but the most imprintings on the top. that was the military. our veterans programs, and support for them and their families. the next was state, public safety. the third was k-12 education. just about everything else got cut. even higher education, social services, some state-subsidized health care programs were cut. and much more. you must be willing to set priorities and make tough decisions. i have a record of that in minnesota. >> when republicans have the white house and congress, they solve the deficit increase. george bush was handed a surplus.
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do you find fault with both parties? >> it is fair to say that the country as a whole has been spending in the red, deficit spending, which has been accumulating in the form of debt for a long time. everyone on both sides of the aisle, must take responsibility. but it is also fair to say that president obama and this democratic-controlled congress have made it exponentially worse. one measure of that is when president bush left office -- the deficit in his last year was less than half a trillion dollars per year. it was a significant amount, but the next year president obama essentially tripled it. he has put the pedal to the metal and a bit worse. >> some say you can cut government spending, but not reduce the long-term debt without increasing some taxes. >> i do not think that is true. look at the structure
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obligations long term of the country mea--much of it is in the form of entitlements. by reforming them and making them more efficient, you can affect the spending picture. i don't believe the u.s. can or should raise taxes. i believe our country is sufficiently taxed. we have a spending problem. if anything, our taxes are too high. >> was george w. bush wrong in fighting two wars, but not paying for it? >> the idea that the worse are the main problem financially is not mathematically true. >> but president bush himself has said that they are. >> it does not explain the bulk of the deficit. one example, are part of the other day said both wars from the date of inception have not yet cost $1 trillion. the total long-term structural
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obligations of the federal government is at least $70 trillion. many experts believe it is closer to $100 trillion. to look at that and say it is the wars that caused the bulk of the problem is not looking at the full picture. >> are there any circumstances in which you would raise taxes? >> no, in some of the ones to stop the growth a garment. frankly, reduced it. if you have the escape hatch from all that interest groups, public employees and unions, and thomas programs, spending -- if the escape hatch is to raise taxes to keep it going -- and the entitlement programs, -- then it will just keep going. i want limited functions by government done well. we will move that many of these other activities out of government. >> you had a bridge collapse
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with 13 fatalities. a recent report said there are about 1200 bridges in this state that are structurally deficient. how do you pay for that? >> we have put more money into roads and bridges than at any other comparable time in the state of minnesota, while i have been governor. we have been aggressive. the minneapolis bridge collapse was decided by the ntsb to have fallen because of an original design flaw from the 1960's. the two ways that we paid for it, one i supported, what i did not -- one was to issue capital bonds for bridge and construction projects. the democrats passed a gas tax increase. i vetoed it, but they overrode it. it is the one time i have been
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overwritten as a governor. we have accretive other ways to do it. we have a pass a plan where people want to use an existing line that was for carpal that hardly anyone used -- you can pull in there, have an electronic device -- send you a bill at the end of the month, or pools of from your account electronically for a little extra you can go in a congested in-three lanes to a couple of the most popular places. we have a couple of the is happening in other places. the private sector has stepped up and is interested. those are some partnerships. they will not solve all problems -- but there's some ways. >> how would you fix health care in the country? why have you been so critical of what the president signed in march? >> we know that what does not
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work is to solve a problem by dragging the system and to washington, d.c., create a one size fits all bureaucracy. use public employees and standardized the purchase. use that to solve the problem. it is what president obama has done with healthcare. he is creating the illusion it will be free. the main problem facing the delivery system is that its costs need to be better contained. president obama just created more access to health care, but without fixing the system. in the meantime, he has introduced something so think will make it worse. to top it off, he has made it a government-centric system. i think the way to reform health care is to tell individuals, to the extent we can afford it, we will assist you financially. but you will be in charge, and
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have good information. you make decisions and the marketplace. we will incentivize you to make wise choices. if you do, then you will realize the financial benefits. some examples -- minnesota has the highest rate of usage of health savings account in the country. about 10% of our population. these work. people use them wisely. another example -- we said to state employees, you can go anywhere you want for health care. but if you choose a more expensive place without good results, you will pay more. they have now migrated to more efficient and equally high quality prices. the increases in the program have been close to zero for five years in a row. >> if you use the analogy that voters and consumers are buying
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a product, if they elect republicans for the house and senate this year, what are they buying? >> the most important issue facing the country for most is the economy, and their jobs. the sense that government spending is out of control. republicans can deliver an understanding that it is the entrepreneur's, inventors, dreamers, and designers and the private sector that can grow the economy. we will send messages to public policy to encourage them, and leighton their load. it will encourage them to get back into the marketplace. it will give them confidence. we will also get a party that is much more aggressive with national defense and security issues.
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i also think you have a party that is much more reform-minded when it comes to bureaucracy and programs. you see republicans like me talking about performance pay for teachers, rather than seniority pay. we will have programs where government employes get cadillacs. will give a party that says we will slow down and reduce government spending. >> did president bush leave a legacy for the republican party is? >> i think president bush was a strong leader, a person of great character. once 9/11 occurred, a good portion of his attention had to be on homeland security and on the war in iraq, in afghanistan. his legacy will be that he kept
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the nation safe. when he saw the beginnings of the war on terror, he confronted it directly, called by name. he did everything he could to keep this country safe. i think it is a lesson we need to keep front and center. we will not be out of this issue with the war on terror. we will have to avoid it and stay on it. he set the tone and tempo for that. >> sometimes in a republican said possibly afghanistan should have been the focus rather than iraq, initially. >> clearly afghanistan was the place of turning operations. going after this capabilities in afghanistan was the right thing to do. but we also know the situation in iraq according to the best intelligence available, and in
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concordance with what many other world leaders thought had saddam hussein and unpredictable in dunstable leader that we believed possessed a weapon of mastemass destruction. president bush erred on the side of and tried to protect our country, a trend to reduce those capabilities. it was a very difficult decision, but given the information in front of him, and he thought other world leaders had an of them, he thought it was the right thing to do. >> what is this midterm election about the? >> getting this country back on track. a majority feels the country is off track. they feel that president obama bait and switch them in the past campaign.
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he sounded people from both parties and independents tended to support him because he sounded a certain way, but now many are saying that is not what they bargained for. at least in his rhetoric, president obama campaigned as someone more centrist or pragmatic. he has turned out to be very partisan so far. but his record prior to his presidency -- you would have seen his background and beliefs, activities really indicated that to begin with. we tried to warn the country of that when those of us were campaigning for john mccain, the president obama would do this. people don't like it and will try to rebalance the country. the big issues are the economy, jobs, and government spending.
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>> have you met him? >> i don't agree with his policies, but he is a pleasant person, loves his family, very ator.d presenter and or tor i think he believes well, but has never believed in a different world view than i do. >> republicans in the house and senate have said their job is to say no to the president's agenda. can you get anything done when the minority party continues to block what ever you want to put forth? >> it was president obama who stood in iowa at the night of the caucuses in 2008 and promised he would do healthcare reform on a bipartisan basis. that he would bring republicans and democrats together. i think that is nearly verbatim. as president he could have advanced health care reform by embracing some of the republican
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ideas and jettisoning some more controversial ideas from his own package. but instead, it is of the most partisan, misguided pieces of legislation in modern history. republicans are understandably frustrated. i don't think that they are saying no to everything. most republicans support his surge in afghanistan. many like me to support some of his education initiatives. he says we will move schools to a performance model, rather than seniority model. there could have been a bipartisan solution and health care reform. there could have been bipartisan support in reform for financial institutions. he had to choose between further embarrassing harry reid and nancy pelosi, or bringing in republicans. i think he embraced the prior two to the detriment of the
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nation. >> you have been testing waters for possible 2012 bid. what is the temperature? >> i have been running around, tried to help candidates for 2010. everything i'm doing with speeches is try to help them. i have left open the door after that. as for 2012, we will see. i will make an early decision in 2011. the country has clearly left the door back open to republican sideas and thoughts. we have to convince swing voters, richard base voters -- reassure the base voters. and say this time we will do what we say we will. i think i have done this and minnesota. there is some sense that the last time republicans were in the majority, they did not live up to what they said.
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we have to recommit. >> why do you want to be president, if you run? >> i have not decided, but setting aside the question about myself, whether anyone runs for president, it is because the country is in significant trouble. the person must have a vision for the future direction. specific ideas and proposals to fulfill the vision, and hopefully also a track record of experience to demonstrate deliverance of their vision. >> what will the campaign look like? what issues will shake your candidacy? >> i have not decided yet whether or not i will run for 2012. it would be premature for me or anyone else to talk about it. we know in politics will be intervening events and other developments.
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people did not realize the gulf oil spill would emerge this past year. the issue came from nowhere. such issues will affect the 2012 elections. for me or anyone else in public service, the question is, do you have a positive vision for the country's direction? do have a demonstrated set of experiences-you can handle it and get it done? >> if you were president, how would you structure your white house? what lessons the take from your eight years as governor? >> whether or not you will be president or leader of a large organization, it helps to have previously run a large or complex organization. that is why think governors are well-suited for it. but in terms of structuring the
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white house, it is a place that sets the tone, the direction for the federal government. you have the power of the bully pulpit, being able to reach the country in a way no other group or individual can. the president not only is responsible for addressing problems, but casting a vision for the future. the president can be the at the center of that activity. >> who are you? where did you grow up, and what events should your life? >> i believe it depends on where we come from parley. we're all shaped by this. i grew up in the world's largest meat-packing town back then. it was a blue-collar town. my dad was a truckdriver, my mother a homemaker. she died when i was 16.
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for a while my dad had lost his job. we had modest financial circumstances, but it was a great place to grow up with the great emphasis on family, neighborhood. we had a lot of challenges, but love and joy in my family. what i have learned is that there will be some who will help you, but in the end, the individual accountability maters allowed. >> you were 16 when your mother was diagnosed with cancer? what goes through that moment. >> my mother was a hard-working person, and loving parents. she was diagnosed with ovarian cancer. six months or so later she passed away. it was very quick. as a 16-year-old that affect
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shoot and life pretty early. our brothers and sisters were not able to go or complete college. i realized early that education was really a pathway, important, and opportunity. i really poured myself into the remainder of my high school years. i worked my way through my studies in college as best i could. you learned a number of things. family really matters. when you lose a parent, especially when you are young, that can be a big challenge. but those charges will come in life. the question is how you will respond. for me, it gave me the rallying call to dive into education and work hard. without one peritoneal i would have to pick it up, pick up the pace and commitment, to do my share. >> what was your father like? >> i should not stereotype, but
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my mother was all-german, my father polish. he was an outgoing, fun-loving god. he was a truck driver for much of his life, and later he got promoted to a dispatcher. we thought it was great for the family. -- he was a fun-loving guy. he was very committed as a father, as was my mother. he enjoyed people. our house was a social gathering place for the neighborhood. >> beside your parents, were their teachers, neighbors who shaped the wawho you are? >> sure. our neighborhood was one where kids played outside, in the yards, streets, and parents looked out for all the kids,
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looked out for us. i remember dickey johnson he gave me one of my first jobs. my mother had just died. my brother had worked at the grew schuster. mr. johnson called him and told him he knew our family was country challenges, and could help by offering me a a job. i got there early on saturday morning. he worked me hard. i worked there for seven years. it helped me to get through college. there was an individual who saw a feeling, or person in need and was kind and loving. he picked up the phone. it was a tremendous lesson. when i work for him for seven years i learned that you show up on time, be respectful. you work hard, and accountable for results. >> where do go for information, for ideas? >> i love to read.
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i get involved in a lot of policy discussions. conferences, reading, informal discussions with people i admire and respect who i think are thoughtful and innovative. not just with politicians, but scientists, engineers, business leaders, educators -- i love to ask them questions. i recently met a social worker in new hampshire who was retiring. she was a native american, and worked for 40 years are more in social work. she had seen it all. i asked her what after 40 years, looking back, if she chose only one thing -- what did she learned? >> she said stop giving them everything. for those who are able-bodied, and able-minded, we have to call them to more individual responsibility because we're
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fostering a culture of dependency at a level that is very corrosive. that was a little golden nugget. >> did you go to law school in minnesota? >> i did. when did you get the political bug? >> i got a little involved in college. at first i thought i would be a dentist. i took all of those pre-the industry class. in organic chemistry i only got a b. i went to seek a career counselor. i thought this was a wise older. it was probably a graduate student. he said look, what do you really like? i satellite public policy, the issues of the day, and what i can do to affect our community.
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he said then you should go into public service. -- i said that i liked public policy. i began to get involved in law, and campaigns. my first elective office was locally. it was a city council race. a friend had been the mayor. there was controversy around development issues. some of the inevitable disputes. i got involved with him, and he encouraged me to run for city council. >> politicians often so they want to bridge the divide. but it is often a toxic environment in washington. how you fix that? >> is there will be some disagreements. if you look back through history to say this toxic now, but was not in the past -- go back to some legendary duels. the founding fathers.
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there is some revisionism. there is always going to be some tension. when you have people with different political philosophies -- the capitol was built by people from different walks of life, perspectives to hash it out. sometimes through discussion, and sometimes through a tough battle. i think some of both is inevitable. i hearken back to ronald reagan. he had strong values and views, and got things done. but look at his style -- optimistic, civil. he could disagree with you, but people liked him. he disagreed without being demeaning or enraged. very rarely would you see him angry or yelling. he almost always would be strong, but respectful.
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there is a great lesson for us all. we may disagree, but may go to have lunch and be friends. that helps to get things done. >> but can you in this environment of? >> i think so. it could be harder because of the poor and the effect of the media than in the past, and the infusion of entertainment and the politics, but i still think it is possible. i still think that it begins with the leader of being positive and decent, a civil. >> you have talked about sam's club republicans versus country club republicans. >> i talked about my brothers and sisters. they have all had blue-collar jobs. >> are the republican? >> they are now, but were not at
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one time. there is a stereotype that all republicans are somehow affluent, or advantaged. none have ever gotten their fingernails dirty. being able to connect with sam's club but republicans -- people who don't have much money, but one good value, but are not necessarily hanging on every amendment that congress considers -- but look at leaders and whether or not they're looking not for their interests. how will i get my kids through college? how will i be assured that the school for my kids attend will be a quality one? how will i afford health care? bread-and-butter basic issues. maybe we do not need this big,
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fat government, but how will we do it? that is where we can stepped in, especially if you have a background that connects with tears and say that you have walked in their shoes. let me share my ideas. the really what your taxes increased? no, we do not. how about schools? should we plough money in there? or should we demand accountability for results? should the feds take over health care? and they come i want to be in charge. and what about provocative issues like guns. don't mess with them -- we like to hunt and fish. you could double list of 10 things and there with you on seven of them. how come you are a democrat then? if you have people who have walked in their shoes, who can squarely address the issues --
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to say we have an alternative to big government estimates the news, then you have a powerful opportunity to convert. >> your other title is husband and father. how did you meet mary? >> we met in law school. she is wonderful, beautiful, smart. at one time she had moved away to texas to practice law. i convinced her to return to minnesota and marry me. i'm glad she did. i have two daughters, 117, the other 14. -- the one 17, other 14. >> what do they think about their dad in politics? >> we tried to keep them out of it. unless it is something very significant, we don't even bring them to political events. we don't then shoved aside while
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mom and dad are being talked to. we tried to focus on and when we are with them. we don't talk about politics unless they want to. candidly, they would be fine with me either in or out of politics. >> what does it face and religion mean to you? >> it is a big part of who we are. what you and i believe is at the core of my thinking. our life in faith is a big part of our daily existence. it has helped to guide us through many circumstances. >> you spoke earlier about your mother. has it been your faith that carry you through? >> a thing for everyone different johnses will come. for me it was the early loss of my mom. inevitably, someone will face a health, financial, career or family john's, others have struggled with chemical dependency.
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to have strong faith helps to it through.d make su you have to know where strength comes from every day. it is a source of great joy and cover for me in for mary. it brings us deeper meaning in our life. >> do you pray a lot is? >> we do, every day. we pray at meals. it is a quiet, private to my time. today we expressed thanks for the beautiful day, and for the mill. >> a son of politics, what else do you like to do? >> i like a lot of different things. i like to run my bike, to run, to read, to play old timers' hockey, tennis with my daughters, some soccer once in awhile, to go to rock concerts,
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and i love country-western music. if there are no hand-held cameras nearby, i will dance with mary. in this time of youtube, i refrain from that because i know how much coordination. >> thank you. >> senator lindsey graham took about terrorism. hisself carolina republican is aquino speaker of the forum hosted by the american enterprise institute. a little later a discussion on the effectiveness of sanctions on air ron, beginning at 3:00 p.m. eastern. >> if consumers do not trust
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us, they will not keep coming back. >> a month-long look at privacy and telecommunications policy. tonight on c-span2. >> up next, a discussion on racial disparities. this is from the recent annual legislative conference by the black caucus. it is just under two hours. >> good morning. welcome to the brain trust of the judiciary committee. i have the pleasure of introducing our guest from the rights working group will moderate our panel discussion about criminal justice reform.
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we will touch on a range of issues, anything from arizona to racial profiling, to crack cocaine. we're looking for it to a lively discussion. >> good morning. i served as your moderator. we have a panel of heavy hitters. it is my job to cut them off so to a discussion with questions including yours. we focus on racial profiling in might rights working group because we see it affecting many communities across the country. it leads to lots of disparities
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in the justice system. many issues we talked about today have that effect. this group has conducted a serious of tests across the country. we will issue a report on september 27, followed by a congressional briefing. we welcome you to attend. i would do a quick introduction of those here. the biographies are much longer than what i will read. we are eager to get to the heart of the issue with issues like racial profiling, violence by police, crack cocaine, voter and disenfranchisement. things that have led to a disproportionate representation of people from lower income and
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minority-racial profiling in prison. our first is with the civil liberties union in washington and works on federal legislation, and things like buttered disenfranchisement. she has been senior attorney adviser on civil rights. she previously practiced law privately. next to her is benjamin, an executive officer of the naacp, the youngest person at that post. he is also a newspaperman. to his right is miss woods. she directs the right to vote project and works on re-
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districting. i told you i would go really fast. immediately to her right, keith, -- director of university in california. he currently teaches history to 12th grade students. he represents the oscar grant family who was executed by police as he laid face down last year. that officer not surprisingly was convicted of a minor, involuntary manslaughter charge.
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next to him, ron. as anso walked the street t officer for many years. to his right is an attorney. she has worked on issues of discrimination, racial profiling, retaliation against immigrants. i know these things sound familiar, reminding you of jim crow. she will speak a little about that. at the end of the panel, the director of law and advocacy at the opportunity agenda, and advocate concerning housing for lower income women. she has worked as the director of thesex workers project at an
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urban center. we will also be joined by professor charles, a harvard law professor. he is a prominent legal theorist. he will join us at a time when some other panelists must leave. >> thank you. i will discuss the history an impact of criminal disenfranchisement laws. the aclu along with other entities made a coalition advocating for change regarding the use this franchise meant -- disenfranchisement laws.
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mike coalition co-chairs will talk about litigation and some details are around state reform. i will focus on the federal legislation, and history. there is an article we did with more detail on my topic today. the aclu works on federal disenfranchisement with regard to voting from three angles. we litigate, lobby, and engage in public education. as we face another important election, there are over 5 million americans estimated who are not able to vote did to criminal convictions, despite the fact that the supreme court has repeatedly said of voting is a fundamental right. most criminal convicts are still barred from polls. 48 of 50 states bar citizens
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with criminal convictions from voting. two permanently discipline just those with felony convictions unless there is some form of restoration. four million americans are out of prison and living in committees, working, paying taxes. most problematic is in the use laws disproportionately impact communities of color. it is not surprising. the development of these laws is closely tied to race discrimination history in our country. a brief background -- these laws have existed since the post- revolutionary war hero. in the late 1800's as part of the backlash to the reconstruction amendments, we
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saw an outgrowth of more of these laws because of fear of losing political power, of the new, black voters. politicians sought to solidify their hold on the southern region. in the 35 years after the civil war, 18 states adopted laws restricting voting rights of people who had committed certain crimes. by 1900, 38 states had done so. the criminal codes were at the same time being changed to reflect crimes that it was thought more freed men would be charged with. on top of that, we had an aggressive and arrests, and targeted convictions.
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over time, we have seen a massive loss of legal voting rights for african-americans, suppressing political power for decades. it continues. 13% of african-american men have lost the right to vote, seven times the national average. in to those of four, at least 11 states disenfranchised at least 15% of those. a stark andg about dispirited. -- a stark disparity. african-americans are more likely to receive harsher sentences and then whites. the number has ballooned because of the incarceration boom, and
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war on drugs. in my opinion, it is a natural disgrace. it is a cycle of discriminatory policies. 70% of those with convictions are in our committees, yet their voices are not heard in the political arena. i want to talk about some of the other problems. there is the defacto disenfranchisement. because every state is different, you find that election officials are very confused about what people's rights are. it is complicated. there is not a lot of training of election officials. once the mis-information as
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bread, the damage is done. receipt disenfranchisement of eligible voters turned away. the center conducted a report interviewing election officials -- a sample from colorado, half the officials surveyed wrongly believe people on provision were ineligible to vote. in tennessee 63% of local officials interviewed were not aware of the types of offenses that would permanently disenfranchised citizens. there are recent victories on the state bubble. erica will talk about those. i want to talk about the federal legislative response. in order to be in franchise and the millions we talked about and to prevent the defective
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disenfranchisement, it is necessary to have a federal congressional response. in july it 2009, a couple of lawmakers re-enacted a lot to restore voting rights of the nearly four million americans who have been released from prison. it would ensure that those on probation never lose their right to vote in federal elections. it would provide an automatic notification procedure concerning their rights to vote. not only with the bill create a uniform federal standard, but we believed it would strengthen democracy by creating a broader basis of just in cas participation. it would help law enforcement by participating engagement in
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civic life. justice marshall once noted that the denial of the right to vote to persons is a hindrance to the efforts of society to rehabilitate former felons and convert them into law-abiding and productive citizens. this bill move largely solve the problem of defacto disenfranchisement. it would clarify rules for election officials. finally, i want to note there has been broad political support for these reforms. several groups have spoken out in support of reform.
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i have left sign-on letters compiling -- there is a growing recognition among even conservatives that these laws run contrary to democratic ideas. on the federal level is partisan, but on the state-level there is a different story. governors from 12 states approved the restoration process, including the bush brothers, jindal, and others. several spoke out in behalf of it. this does not have to be a partisan issue. my continuing to deny citizens the right to vote, our government is endorsing a system
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that expects citizens to participate in society, but denies them a voice in democracy. federal legislation is required. [applause] ben? >> good morning. it is great to be here with each of you to talk about such serious issues. i want to continue along the line of the past speakers speaking historically, talking about values, why these do not need to be partisan issues. think about the hope that existed in this country towards the end of the 1960's and the civil rights movement. the hope that parents had for their kids, black and brown.
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my generation was often told the that our job was to go out and reap what our parents had sown. we would be the first generation not to have to spend part of it's like dealing we would be judged in most cases by the content of our character and not by our skin color or hair texture. we came of age just-in-time to find ourselves the most murdered generation, incarcerated generation on the planet. in other words, freedom of having ended segregation, arguably life got worse. but the incarceration rate since
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1970. it has taken off like this. unpacked that and what you find as we don't have just the most incarcerated black or brown people on the planet, we of the most incarcerated white people on the planet. peopleust locking up like crazy in this country, regardless. people5% of the world's and 25% of the world's prisoners. if you left just the white folks there, we would still be 10% of the world's prisoners. our country has to come to grips with the way this changes everything. people think about criminal justice being downstream from education -- if we could just fix the schools, we would solve our criminal justice problems. in these times, the state budgets are shrinking, what does not shrink, the criminal justice
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budget. what does shrink, everything else. we will be releasing a port next year -- releasing a report next year about how incarceration spending has gone up and public education spending has gone down. next week, we will be releasing billboards in at least three states making a similar point -- welcome to alabama where since 1968, the incarceration rate has gone up 700%. welcome to california, where since 1988 we have increased prison spending 20 times faster than public education. welcome to the usa. people,of the world's 25% of the world's prisoners. call your senator to get this act passed. we have to let the whole problem as the dissolutions. when people look at the issue,
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it crosses lines. we will be announcing that we have succeeded in getting one of the nation's largest lawyers to ban the box, to take the question of employment forms, have you ever been convicted, and put it in the interview where it belongs. if it is in the interview, the employer can decide whether or not they are already invested in them. if is in the application, they just throw away. it means their mothers cannot get their kids out of foster care. when that goes to prison, the family is poor. when mother goes to prison, kids going to foster care. if you want to know why black kids are 50% of the kids in foster care, look to the regulations and the way the both have increased among black women over the past 20 years. should mother, and she has a low
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level drug conviction the board in a pharmacy? should she be able to fold t- shirts? absolutely. in each instance, when you have the defacto blanket bans, that's what happens. they can't even get a job folding a t-shirt. in both cases, they are led by republicans. they're led by conservatives, people who are right wing. they are led by people who go to church, go to synagogues, and to pray and understand that redemption should be a political issue. it might be an issue of facebook, a spiritual conviction, but it should be up for political debate. people have a right to redeem themselves, pay their debt to society, they have a right to earn a living, restoring their relationship with their family and their role in their community. at the same time, -- that's why
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i'm glad to see ron hampton here to be part of the equation. just because the laws exist and they are harsh, does not mean they are applied in similar ways in each community. white people are 65% of the crack users in this country and 5% of the people busted for using crack. black people are 15%. both forms of cocaine are used in equal rates, regardless of race or ethnicity. the dominant driver is whether or not there from this country. people in this country tend to use it at the same rate in any group. 85% of the people locked up for using crack are black. what does that mean? we have two different drug enforcement policies. we have one that is tolerant and permissive and one that is harsh and uses prison where we should
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use rehab. what the determinant is is often race. we often see the same thing with marijuana possession. in new york city, black children are 20% less likely to have drugs in their pockets when a cop pulls over and a sixth hand in their pocket looking for a joint, yet there are four times more likely to be thrown against the wall and have their pockets searched. the criminologist in me and that is where my academic background is, can't explain that. how do you say to an officer, there are 25% in the best and for times as much. think about who in manhattan is pour -- black and brown kids are poor and it's easier for cops to prey on them. if you target a black or brown kid, it's less likely will be challenged by their parents. if you are on the upper east side where there is a lot of white kids, very well the parents, your terrified of shoving your hands in that child's pocket.
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the impact -- i will close on this -- when we permit our officers to fixate on small, low level, victimless crimes, as like whether a child has a joint in their pocket -- not like it's not bad and it hasn't hurt people in my own family, but relative to homicide rate, having a joint in your pocket is a small thing. in city after city, we have communities, even entire cities, where 70 percent of homicides go unsolved and hundreds of rate kits are unopened at this moment. we have to say to the officers, start at the top of the food chain. if you have not solved most homicides in your city, and yet hundreds of free tickets that have not been opened, how do you have time to throw a kid up against a wall naskapi as a joint? if you solve all listings, go
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at. in the meantime, let's focus on homicide, let's focus on rape, let's get serious about treating our kids and the people in our towns barely. thank you and god bless. [applause] >> i would just like to recognize congressman bobby scott who just came in the room. he has been a longtime champion on these issues. [applause] he leads the charge on criminal justice reform in many ways. i don't know if he would like to take a minute. a congressmanwn not to take a minute. [laughter] >> thank you. it will be just a minute because we have a very distinguished panel and we want to hear from them. but i'm from the chair of the crime subcommittee and one of
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the problems we have had with criminal justice policies we have a choice of whether we're going to codify slogans and sound bites or actually reduce crime. unfortunately, we have been codifying slogans and sound bites for many years and we now locked up a larger portion of our population than anywhere on earth by far. so much so that the pure research center says our rate is counterproductive at 700 per hundred thousand. anything over 500 they consider counter productive because you are injecting or social pathology into a community and you are bringing out. these slogans and sound bites read a racial differential where the african american incarceration rate is 2200. most countries, it is 50-to enter. some states, 4000 -- a 50-200. if you put that money into prevention and early intervention, you reduce crime, save money, and get young people
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of the cradle -- at of the cradle of prison -- cradle of present pipeline. -- cradle to present pipeline. people think they can get elected by codifying slogans and sound bites, and it's just going to be a matter of changing the politics and getting people to notice that we noticed all they're doing is locking people up and doing nothing to reduce crime, just perpetuate personal political ambitions. to the extent can change that and let them know there are things they're not doing and things they are doing better actually increasing crime, we can make a change in what we're doing. the act have introduced and the congressional black caucus's supporting will change the dynamics to investments of wasting money into counterproductive prisons, up the money into a comprehensive, holistic approach where you get young people on the right track
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and keep them on the right track. if we can get that passed, we will reduce crime and save money in the process. i would like to thank our panelists for being with us today. i will be with you as long as i can, but it's important that we change the mindset of criminal justice policy from one which is a racially discriminatory, money-wasting, and does nothing to reduce crime and get serious and that the money where it will actually make some difference. thank you very much. [applause] >> you can see why we are fortunate to have him as chair of the criminal-justice subcommittee and working for these issues from the inside. >> i want to salute congressman bobby scott as well. the whole idea somebody is getting smart about crime rather than tough on crime is driven by
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21st century priorities. what he has done is to go against the grain, against his own party members, go against many predictable democrats who saw the response is to lock our people up and get more votes of your tough on crime. but he has done the work and talks about being smart on crime. i hope everybody in every state will make sure your members of congress will support the use promise act. it is the most impressive 21st century effort to think about children as children and to think about early intervention in a positive way than to late and in a negative way which means lock them up and not educate them and not give them jobs for opportunities. i want is a couple of things about a local phenomenon, criminalization, and talk about broadly. there is good news -- as much as we sit here in washington and talk about mandatory minimums
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and crack cocaine -- people are still being locked up even though our jails are overflowing, there is good news. our governor, the only currently serving african american elected governors, just signed last month aeriform law. this is the requirement that any person with a record has to was that on an employment contract. the new law says that is no longer required. it requires companies to hire people with records. it seems revolutionary, but it is smart on crime because folks want to work. they want to be productive, they want to be taxpaying, wage earnings citizens. the reason they're not working is because they fill out an application in any state in union and when that employers seized do you have a record and it says yes, it goes to the bottom or it gets thrown out.
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they don't look at your skills or abilities and in massachusetts, that cannot happen anymore. we hope this becomes a bellwether with support from national -- and the naacp and national urban league. it makes no sense to disenfranchise thousands and millions of people twice. once you can't vote and then you can't work. if you cannot vote and cannot work, you are not a citizen. you can say you are born here, live here, have family here, but you do not have the right to vote in the right to work, you not have citizenship. the bad news is across the country, people are still saying if you have been in trouble, you can't vote and you can work. that paralyzes a whole generation of people. many of them who were involved in non-violet, personally-
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conflicting criminal activity selling drugs. we're not advocating drugs as a good thing, but why punish somebody more severely because be a rather than trying to treated. finally congressman john conyers has been a warrior for decades. think about what he has done and what he represents. there is crime in detroit, crime in chicago, crime in new york, crime in los angeles, crime in washington d.c., yet how deeper than that? you prevented by intervening earlier. you do what bobby scott has done with the promise act. you try to change the paradigm. my institution wrote a report for bobby scott when the youth project was first being implemented. our report sent the message -- no more children left behind bars. there's no more ambiguity, it's
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an acclamation of what we have to have behind bars -- about what we have to have. it tells us that intervention and truman are the prescriptions we need, not punishment and imprisonment. we have to move from tough to smart. why are we winning this battle now? i go to my home state, california, and what uic? thousands of people are being released from prison now. was there an epiphany? they cannot afford to lock people up any more. it is not cost-productive. they have to release people not because they're saying you did not do this, but because they cannot operate the jails and prisons anymore. who was thinking about that 10 years ago when they could have been on probation and could have received treatment, job training and drug treatment and it never happened? the goal is to not simply
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complained about past but look at massachusetts and other places and say why can't a person in as bad in trouble still say i want to work? i can cut grass, i can paint a fence, i can drive a car. there are thousands of jobs that could make it possible for people to do more. under this president and this congress, last year, we had the passage of the $787 billion stimulus package. how many people know about the stimulus package? raise your hand. that's a good sign. how many people know how much money your state received in the stimulus package? lookit that. you do not know. because there are tens and twenties and $30 million right in your state right now to be spent and it is not getting down to the cities. you cannot blame the president or congress. they have done what they're
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supposed to do. $787 billion. divided among 50 states for roads, bridges and all sorts of construction. his you have to talk to your governor and politicians about being creative. say you're going to use this money in massachusetts, new york, illinois, california, texas, wherever it might be, you are going to use that money and make sure you hire skilled workers. but here is what the governor of massachusetts did -- he says the money has to be used for skilled workers, for semi-skilled workers and unskilled workers. what does he mean? it doesn't mean people don't have skills, it means their people have never been in a union, but they know that role concrete, they know how to build
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a bridge, they have the skills, they just not have been -- a is have not been admitted to the union and they know the process and they want to work. this is not a progressive idea, it's a sensible idea. why not use this money to employ people? if they are not working, they will do things that are counterproductive in our society. this is not being tough on crime, this being smart about crime and smart and our resources. i hope everyone here will look at this tracking for change and say what has my governor, what has my mayor, what has my senator, what has my city council member, what have my people done in my city and in my district and in my county to spend money we have right now to put people back to work? if they do not put people back to work, they don't deserve your vote. on november 2nd, you should tell people, if you are not spending money on us, i'm not going to
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spend my god-inspired, constitutionally-protected right on you unless you show me you are doing something for us. we can change this by simply saying jobs, not jail. jobs, not jail is a priority going forward. i hope he can all find a way to do that right now. [applause] >> i have the unenviable role of speaking after professor hauterive. i'm from the center for justice. how does a thank you to the congressional black caucus, mr. scott, mr. conyers, our panelists. we work on a bunch of different voting rights issues and election issues. the issue i work on and which i
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am particularly passionate about is restoring the right to vote for people with past criminal convictions. i came to this issue because seven years ago, administrative assistant who is just coming off pearl tried to register to vote in bronx county and got a letter saying he had to produce 25 different documents, a few of which existed. he came to me and said what is this all about. i said this seems wrong. i was doing a lot of different reentry and civil-rights work, so we started calling around and looking into it. it turns out that more than half of the counties in new york state require people of past criminal conviction to jump through a million different hoops before they can register to vote and these are people who are eligible to vote. that's how i came to this issue. one guy with a piece of paper being denied the right to vote even though he is eligible and just trying to do the right thing coming back to the community. i'm delighted to say that as
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clem martin who is vice president of the fortunate this -- president of the fortune society. if you are inspired by our conversation this morning, i hope you'll join us to build support for the democracy restoration act. how want to talk about the issue and where states are on this issue. there is a report out there that looks like this. on page 3, there is a map so you can see what the stakes are. there is a patchwork across the country ranging from two states, kentucky and virginia that are meles disenfranchise everybody with a criminal conviction. if you are convicted of a felony when you are 18 years old, you lose the right to vote for life in the states. you can apply for clemency and ask the governor to restore your rights, and give to go through all application procedure and
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its at his discretion. he decides to get to vote in his state. not surprisingly, under some governors, that number drops precipitously. other -- under others, it goes up. it is purely discretionary and entirely under the governor's control. and the result of hundreds of thousands of people are disenfranchised. there is a disproportionate impact on people of color. one in four black men are disenfranchised in virginia because of this law. we are working to try to change that, but they're still two states that disenfranchise everybody with a criminal conviction. 10 states permit alley disenfranchise some people -- florida, alabama, mississippi, ariz. -- there are prominent disenfranchisement for some people with criminal convictions. i want to talk about some of
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this -- thank you for writing the introduction to our report -- a number of these laws are firmly rooted in jim-crow. the need to be very clear about this. these laws have been on the books for a number of years but came into play right around reconstruction and were intended to keep african-americans from voting in our country. there's no question about it. you can read to the constitutional convention, you can read through the delegates comments in virginia, you can read about what they're talking about when they put these laws of the book. they were aimed at african- americans to keep them from voting alongside poll taxes and literacy tests that the voting rights act has eliminated. it is a bass disenfranchisement of communities of color. these to not just this in french as individuals, but entire communities. the head of the family cannot
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vote, his family are not going to vote and children are not going to learn how the vote. it is not surprising that these are rooted in jim-crow in the southern states, but even in the states are considered the begin of northern freedom, they are also rooted in a very discriminatory laws. our report, "jim crow in new york close "we went to the historical society and legislative libraries and historical research run the country to figure out where this law came from here in new york. what it turns out is when you look at the state constitutional conventions and the old constitution which are actually pretty fun to read, it turns out that new york was the only state in the country at reconstruction that put in its state constitution a specific property requirement for african-americans. in the state of new york, african-americans had to own a
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certain amount of property in order to register to vote. only african-americans in the state constitution. they had to own a certain amount of property before they could register to vote. that law stayed on the books in new york for years and years and years. the only reason it was eliminated was because of the 14th and 15th amendment. it was not until the 14th and 15th amendments, even though other states had got rid of those requirements, new york kept its on the book is. new york delegates actually decided they did not want to enact the 15th amendment and voted against it but were unable to do that because of federal law. at time, the 15th amendment required n.y. to remove this property requirement, they in place its criminal disenfranchisement law at exactly that time. you can read a conversation among the state delegates when that decision was made. all the languages in air. it is astonishing and
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disgraceful. the law in new york, which must think of as a liberal, northern state is offer -- is firmly rooted in jim crow. 80% of the people disenfranchise in my state are latino and african-american. 80%. there are seven problems of the criminal justice system and issue and people are coming out of prison and as have been described here -- people to get jobs and their families back together, but when you talk to people impacted by these laws, the right to vote and not being able to vote when you are in the community is a significant slap in the face. a significant symbolic denial of being a participant in the community. there has been tremendous momentum across the country in the last decade. 20 states have restored voting rights or ease the restoration process. many have been supported by a bipartisan control.
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we'll work on all those campaigns. in iowa, the governor used his executive authority to restore voting rights through executive order. we have done it through executive change in maryland. in florida, the governor amended the clemency laws there. in rhode island, my home state, the voters went to the polls on election day and restored voting rights to their fellow rhode island's -- that fellow rhode islanders. the tide is recognition that this is a scar on a the mark -- a scar on our democracy with racial rates and continuing discriminatory impact and people should restore the right to vote. do want to say that at 11:30,
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the national black law students association has decided this is one of their top priorities and have organized an action rally at d e d c law school in hopes of a view will join us there today. -- at the d.c. law school. lose a couple to of our panelists. i'm going to pause briefly the seeking get some discussion and reaction, but i know you both have to go. we have heard quite a few things, but the fundamental premise of how this works, as the community a fax big as that affects communities of color, but what does it mean? because we stopped and frisked every black and brown use in baggy pants, that's what we have less crime. what we don't hear is what happens when you take young men and women out of the economic
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system, but of the ability to have jobs and votes, how does that impact communities? i was wondering if you have any reaction or anything you like to add. i know you have to go, so i'd like to give you an opportunity before you step out. >> what comes through in all of these presentations thus far, and you will hear more, is that there is a new south, and does not georgia, mississippi, north carolina and south carolina. it is new york, massachusetts, ohio, illinois. they are doing things you cannot even imagine happening in the 21st century. i'm thinking about new york and all the issues of disenfranchisement that new york and brooklyn have this practice of police stopping people without any evidence of a crime.
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the vast majority of people were released without being arrested for a crime. yet the police want to keep those individuals in their database as possible resources for future crimes. that's unbankable. that is worse than south africa. you did not commit a crime, but we what your name and address in our database for the future. in massachusetts -- there is a new law that may have an impact around the country. at the naacp convention, then promoted the idea that we can all be reporters and investigators would be see crime occurring by police and profiling. we want to use our cell phones to videotape it. not to intervene, but just say here is the police by letting summons rights. and massachusetts, we need the aclu big time. there is a law that a police officer can arrest you if you
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are recording him or her doing something wrong because it violates his or her privacy. think about that. protecting the police from an individual -- a citizen -- think about rodney king and what would have happened if there was no george holliday with the camera that the police did not see. we would never have known because the reports they wrote next eight told a different story than what our eyes told us. these things are happening, a regressive effort is happening, and in arizona, which is a good example -- i mention this in my book are racial profiling. people can say is not racial profiling, but it is. how does a police officer know when they look it you or what you are wearing whether you are undocumented worker or an arizona citizen? they cannot know. it puts an unfair burden on the police but also tells us as we solve some criminal justice problems that there are new
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things creeping up and they're not creeping up always in the places we thing. it's not alabama or mississippi, they're bad, but when they're in massachusetts, illinois or arizona, we have a big problem that we're fighting some of the most problematic issues. things are creeping into what we think of as democratic states and their bad for citizens and bad for justice. part of this that i'm gaining from this, we have to be vigilant for -- vigilant wherever we are. the problems are very big right in front of our faces. the s -- the aclu and the naacp have been very graceful pointing these out and fight against and in places where we think it's not an issue. >> talking about this lot in
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massachusetts where you can be dealt with by the cops if you video tape and should make all the israelites is not just about this country. when i worked with amnesty, one of the things that was drilled home to me is that what we make a bad law here, the amplification overseas is much greater. when we passed the patriot act here, it gives permission to dictators from west africa through the far east to do horrible things to their citizens. our country is a beacon for civil and human rights, as many problems as we have whenever we take a step backwards year, it gives people permission to take a leap backwards overseas. if a citizen in this country can be told they have violated the law by videotaping an officer mistresses and in public, know that that should make as fish
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shredder here because it will make a huge impact overseas. it was a comment earlier that should get all our attention -- we have to speak up -- there's a connection between the nine people jobs and the increase in the incarceration rate in times like this. we can either -- one way or another, we're going to pay for this recession. we can either invest in the country would want to be, invest in keeping people intact, or we can pay for more incarceration, more foster care and all the downstream effects. that is why we have organized a big march on washington on october 2nd -- one nation working together. we need folks to turn out. we have 1600 buses and
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accounting heading to the city. we have people coming by cars. one person is flying in to utah. the obstructionism in the senate right now, it is holding a job creation. we have made big strides even on criminal justice reform. people in both parties have been a problem if we're honest. we have narrowed the gap between sentencing for power and crack, but there is a lot more to be done -- for powder and crack. bobby scott can do a lot, but as an organizer in harlem, the first thing i was taught was when you help elect somebody, you don't let them to make the change for you, you help them to let you facilitating making a change. we have always been a change where waiting for. if we feel disempowered, it's
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because we have disempowered ourselfs. the saying we accomplished some much in 2008, to rest, 2008 was the beginning, not the end. we need to see you in washington on october 2nd. if you can't come erasure voices and get people fired up. october is big. we need to turn out as many voters as we can get people fired up for november 2nd so we come back next congress and keep doing what we have been doing which is making this country better bit by bit. [applause] >> one nation working together .org or go to the naacp website. we're going to -- >> we're going to continue with our panel. >> every important event in my
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life, i began with my gods name. these words meaning peace unto you. first and foremost, i'm grateful to share this opportunity with you some of our concerns coming out of northern california. we are here specifically to address the matter of justice in the murder of a young man who was killed for the world to see on videotape by a bart police officer which is a train system for northern california. with us here today is the on call of oscar grant, who as -- the uncle of oscar grad who has traveled with a delegation from california to share some of our concerns for what has happened
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and prevent any of these kinds of happenings from occurring again without proper intervention and oversight and unlawful practice as these things occur. i would like to first introduce uncle body, the uncle oscar grant the third. [applause] if we just back up and review the case -- on january 1st, 2009, a 22-year-old man, oscar grant and his friends, after celebrating the birth of his mother in northern california, headed out to enjoy new year's eve. after leaving the family home, where oscar's mother, his sister said to her 22-year-old son, there is a lot of people drinking tonight. don't drive, catch the bart. catch the train to your new
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year's eve celebration. on his way home from that celebration, after the boarding a train in the east oakland station, oscar and his friends were approached and suffered the immediate consequence of racial profiling inside that station. what we saw before he was murdered was the fatal consequences of racial profiling in america. as he and his friends boarded the train, they came under verbal and physical attack of one particular officer who, in in a 13-minute incident, precipitated 11 minutes of verbal and physical abuse on oscar grant and his friends. he hurled racial epithets, he
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laid hands against non- resisting passengers, he body slammed, he kicked, he elbowed, and he need a group of young men. oscar grant and his friends were never arrested. oscar grant and his friends were never charged for any kind of crime. but within 13 minutes, oscar grant, after being call a bitch ass nigger, he laid flat on his face was nearly 600 pounds of police officer on his back and one of those two officers stance and shoots him in the back. after realizing what he had done, that officers said to his peers, i thought he was reaching for a gun. this is on january 1st, 2009.
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by january 3rd, 2009, videotaped evidence of what occurred was released from the passengers personal camera. prior to the videotape evidence being released, the defense offered by the police officer was, i thought he had a gun. after the release of videotape evidence from a passenger, it is interesting to note that as was just mentioned, they -- there are now lost sweeping across the country to prevent citizens from videotaping law enforcement officers in the commission of their duties as though the videotape somehow impedes their operations lawfully as a law- enforcement officer. on my way here, i watched a videotape from dallas, texas, of a rodney king-like incident where the beating of a young
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man in dallas, tx was captured by the law enforcement officer's on video camera. they did their best to suppress what had happened to the point that one officer even moved the camera while they were beating a young man in public view. this is only to say that with oscar grant, we witnessed the fatal consequence of racial profiling. not only were we able to see this being on television, but anyone with eyes sought. -- anyone with eyes sought it. we were all enlightened, and in fact enraged by what we saw. not only did we see it in our homes, but of course, all of our elected officials who we want to thank for participating in this journey for justice saw it as well. i heard congressperson lee who helped us to come here this
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weekend say last night at oakland is the most diverse city in the country. as a result of that diversity, having a black congressperson, having a black state representative, having a black city council people, a black mayor, and having some black county supervisors, we were able to include in the voice of our rage on this incident not only the family of oscar grant, not only the local community's leadership, not only young and old black, brown, red, yellow and white, but there were black elected officials in position to voice their concerns over what had happened. to be quite frank about it, if blank -- of black elected officials refused to voice their concern over what happened, there would be no need to have a black elected official. so we are very grateful for those elected officials.
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several people and their voices to the voices of outrage over the murder of oscar grant. that trial is now nearly complete. with a conviction at the least possible conviction sentencing for the officer that killed oscar on that night. as this trial was removed from alameda county because they declared the of the involvement of these black elected officials, because it was declared by the judge of the media representation of the case, because it was declared by the judge of concern that activism might somehow impact the jury in its day-to-day work, this case was moved to los angeles where, upon jury
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selection, though the city and county of los angeles have many black folks and it, somehow, when the jury was selected, not a single black person made it onto the jury for this particular trial. but after weeks of trial, the deliberation was reduced to less than six hours. after the family of oscar grant and others traveled to southern california and camped out for weeks to secure whether or not justice would be served, this deliberation was reduced to less than six hours where a jury had to deliberate first the difference in the law between second degree murder, voluntary manslaughter, and involuntary manslaughter being the least serious of the potential convictions. when the jury returned with a conviction of involuntary manslaughter, we are well aware
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that the officer was the first officer in the california state history to be charged with such a crime. he is also the first officer in the history of the state now to be convicted of this kind of crime. but we are now looking at this not only in the case of california, but in the case is happening all over the country. no peace officer in the history of the country has never been convicted for murder for and on duty shooting. while we can rattle off "a list of names -- while we can rattle off a list of names, cities are now being made to pay tens of millions of dollars in civil settlements for the acts of these law enforcement officers, but law-enforcement officers have not been held to account for these kinds of crimes, and there's a reason for this.
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perhaps among the reasons is that we are now relying upon local prosecutors to bring charges against part of their team which is local law enforcement. this is why we are anxious to work with you in that we should work together to become a choir for justice, demanding in truth that there has to be oversight above that of the local prosecutorial offices because a prosecutor is a political animal. he wants to be elected. he is elected with support of law and horsemen unions where they reside. what person can't -- what percentage become a prosecutor without the help of law- enforcement agencies and their unions? it becomes our duty, having traveled as far to say to us that we need the department of justice to gauge this matter in
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the murder of oscar grant fervently, but not lead to engage this matter, but to find a role in every one of the law enforcement apparently unjust shootings that are happening around the country. we are thankful for being here. as we have heard, some parts of our history, we will know that when it appears there is progress to date in our communities, there is often a racially motivated reaction. after reconstruction, you have a sweep of lynchings to occur around the country. some of which were captured in photography. but as we were awaiting the inauguration of president barack obama, there was not one, but there were in fact three police- involved shootings on new year's eve. of course, oscar grant in
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oakland, a fatality motivated by the consequence of racial profiling. in new orleans, adolf grimes, a fatality, also motivated by the consequence of racial profiling. in texas, you have someone who did not die of his wounds, but again, a racially-motivated shooting, all as we were awaiting our bus tickets and our way into the sea to celebrate the election of our president. -- into the sea to celebrate the election of our president. we do not have to wait to see the local prosecutor will bring charges against a law enforcement officer for these fatalities, but we are anxious to see and to know that the department justice will willingly and readily engage itself in these fail shootings
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happening around the country. thank you. [applause] >> speaking on law-enforcement and type -- it's very fitting we should go to ron hampton who can speak to this from personal experience and as a representative of the national black police officers association. >> thank you very much and good morning. phfft i thought it would have been difficult to follow professor ogletree, but i think brother mohammad here, his presentation is also tough to follow. [applause] but not for the reason i'm here to excuse or apologize, because i'm not going to do that. that's not my job. i'm going to tell you what my job is and has been for the last
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38 years. even before that, i was a police officer before i joined the national black police association in 1973. the national black police association is an advocacy organization, not a police organization. it is an organization of police officers, but it's an advocacy organization, like the naacp. we have worked with organizations were sitting at this table, the nation of islam, the aclu, the naacp, amnesty international, because we recognize the entry to the criminal-justice system is through arrest. you do not walk into the criminal justice system in good corp., a prism, you have to get arrested for that to happen. we recognize the inequity of long time ago.
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in 1975, we developed a brochure called "what to do when stopped by the police." nobody was talking about driving while black or running while black in those days. they just did not know that. but as black police officers, we recognize black folks were treated differently because of the color of their skin. was telling some students yesterday that i had the pleasure of teaching at the university of the district of columbia. i'm telling my students that pulling black young men at the car and having them spread- eagled on the sidewalk is not a new phenomenon. they were doing black man like that in 74, 75, 76 and a still doing it today. but they will never go to georgetown ample white kid out of the car and make him spread- eagled on a concrete. or somebody going to american university, there would never do that to a white student.
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we recognize there were problems, so we put this brochure out and a company brochure was workshops. we would hold these neighborhood meetings to talk about these issues because we realize the entry to the criminal justice system is through arrest. if the arrest is flawed, the rest will be fought also. the statistics today bear that out. there are few things i do want to run the say we have better -- i do want to say. we realize having someone talk about it on the front line who understands this really should make a difference. we cannot afford to sit back and think is someone else's job. i am glad to hear brother mohammad talk about how all this need to work together, because we do. we put out a statement calling
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what happened to oscar grab a murder. it was not an accident. he did not think he was grabbing his mace. [applause] you cannot come back and make a statement after i thought i saw a gun that now i thought i was grabbing my mace. he was grabbing his gun. a gun is response to a gun in the law-enforcement community. not mace to a gun. you don't pull a knife out to a gun. so let's be real. we have been on all these -- 1070 -- there something wrong with 1070. it prevents law enforcement people from doing their job. you cannot do your job working for the community by victimizing the community. but as much damage as 1070 can do and has done so far column let me tell you that i can see a day when they'll use a system
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like 1070 to address drugs and crime and our community in washington d.c. because there are police officers is think people who commit crimes are black. where you go to do something about that? i can tell you that there is crime in georgetown. but because of the people whose job is to enforce the law and the rest of those who violate the law, they would go to the places where they have been conditioned to think criminals live and crime exists. that is sad and that will be problematic because there are some other states that are considering laws like 1070. think about that for a minute. scott crazy because mr. touched on it -- changing the mindset is what we ought to be doing. that is the challenges -- that is the challenge. one of the most disappointing
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things when i joined policing was that after i had been there for two or three years, i realized a lot of the people i worked with was ignorant. ignorant isn't a bad thing. it means that you don't know. i took on the responsibility of trying to inform and educate my colleagues and peers about the kinds of things they were ignorant about. the communities that look like you, that produced you, you have an obligation and responsibility to represent those communities. somehow or other work to reduce those things that are obstacles in our community from us realizing what the constitution talks about. that challenge is still there today because unfortunately, and the institutions, people do they get paid to do. these people make more money now than they ever thought there would make in their life. so they're doing it at an unbelievable pace and think they're working in our community.
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even if you don't agree with to serve and protect, that is not what they're doing. there not being paid to do that. they are paid to drive up the numbers of the information and i'm glad to see that kind of progressive legislation coming out of the state of massachusetts. we need to consider that type of legislation in other communities and in the district of columbia. i was around when we were doing operation clean sweep. we were talking about it was used to address the drug problem. we've locked up 53,000 people and less than six months trade less than 20% had to do with things like urinating in public and driving without license. it has nothing to do with dealing with drugs. but none of that happened in georgetown. it happened in my community. it happened in the communities
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for people with a look like me. it also created problems for the criminal justice system because it overburdened the jails. we still had a problem laughter was all over with. if we're really going to do something about this, we need to be smart on crime. we need to be challenging the status quo and developing the mindset that it is talking about the kind of things we have been involved in and working with, having the honor and pleasure of people to work with people here and working for voting rights and the idea of creating a national criminal justice commission to look at. it has been over 30 years since we have looked our criminal justice system. we need to have a comprehensive approach, but more importantly, we need to have recommendations we can talk about implementing. let me say this in closing --